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Maria Olszewska

A strikingly beautiful girl using a sumptuous tone of voice, mezzo-contralto Maria Olszewska was a standout among the various other dramatic mezzos and contraltos performing during her prime years. The richness of her device occasionally led her into outrageous musical behavior, however when guided with the baton of the assertive conductor, she is actually a magisterial musician. Among her legacy of recordings may be the matchless abridged Rosenkavalier captured in Vienna with Lotte Lehmann, Elisabeth Schumann, and Richard Mayr. Blessed near Augsburg, Bavaria, Maria Olszewska examined with Karl Erler in Munich and started her career being a concert vocalist. Subsequently, she was noticed by conductor Artur Nikisch who sensed that her tone of voice was of operatic calibre and really should be provided on stage. Through his suggestion, she produced her debut in Krefeld within a 1917 creation of Tannhäconsumer singing the function of a full page. By 1920, Olszewska acquired advanced to Leipzig where her assignments encompassed the bigger Wagnerian mezzo parts, such as for example Brangäne, Fricka, and Waltraute. In Hamburg, she participated in the premiere of Erich Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, provided jointly with Cologne. The Vienna Opera involved her in 1925 and she begun to ingratiate herself using the challenging public there. Producing her Covent Backyard debut in 1924, Olszewska provided a Herodias referred to as “exceptional” as had been her Waltraute, Brangäne, and Fricka. IN-MAY 1925, her cooperation with Lotte Lehmann in Lohengrin triggered Ernest Newman to create that the set “demonstrated us just what a masterpiece the next act from the opera is really.” In the springtime of 1927, her Carmen, like those of several other performers, failed, particularly when assessed against Marcel Journet’s elegant Escamillo. When Bruno Walter carried out Die Fledermaus in the 1930 – 1931 time of year, Olszewska was the “strutting” Orlofsky. Olszewska finally could present her Octavian to London viewers that same yr, aristocratic as the youthful enthusiast, but relishing a little bit of vulgarity when disguised as the wench. She continued to be at Covent Backyard through 1933. Olszewska sang using the Chicago Opera from 1928 to 1932. There, she opened up the business’s last season in the venerable Auditorium with her Carmen and sang Fricka having a solid that included Frida Leider’s Brünnhilde, Eva Turner’s Sieglinde, and Alexander Kipnis’ bass-voiced Wotan. Additional tasks she essayed in Chicago included Octavian, Brangäne, Ortrud, Magdalene, Katinka (in Smetana’s Bartered Bride-to-be), the 3rd Woman Mozart’s The Magic Flute), as well as the name part in Massenet’s Hérodiade. Olszewska’s Metropolitan Opera debut on January 16, 1933, induced critic W.J. Henderson to spell it out her as “a Brangäne from the 1st rank.” She was solid mainly because Amneris in the starting nights the Metropolitan’s 1934 – 1935 time of year and sang, furthermore to her repertory of Wagner tasks, Azucena and Clitemnestre. In the second option part, one efficiency was greeted with gales of applause and cheering amid the opera, an unparalleled occurrence. Music article writer and conductor Robert Lawrence, composing in his 1956 publication, An environment of Opera, referred to both her physical and vocal beauty, also citing a particular restlessness that sometimes impacted her stage deportment. Her greatest performances, he taken care of, emerged in productions which “immobilized her,” keeping her “rooted in a single place and out of mischief.” Although Olszewska sang often in recital, the beauty of her tone of voice and her propensity for lingering on vowel noises held her from attaining real success for the reason that moderate. On stage in Wagner and Strauss, nevertheless, she positioned with the best possible performers of her period.

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